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Internet, you have disappointed me.

Wait … let me back that up a bit.

I’m not sure exactly when I fell in love with James Beard. Perhaps it was in the early ’70s while reading his wonderful American Cookery, in which he went off on a rant about how today’s chickens (well, the chickens of 40 years ago) just weren’t what they used to be—

Few have the delicate, delicious flavor of the old barnyard chicken, which may not have been raised so pristinely and plucked so cleanly but tasted of chicken and had excellent texture. … They come to the market uniform in size, uniform in color, and uniform in lack of real flavor. They require a good deal of seasoning to give them any character, and they fail to produce a rich broth.

I loved that curmudgeonliness! Beard’s commentary surrounding the recipes were (and continue to be) as interesting as the recipes themselves.

But that’s not what brings me here today.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
05 October 2014 @ 11:19 am

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I always knew, in a general way, that “If You Go Away” was based on Jacque Brel’s “Ne me quite pas,” but I had no idea what a pale shadow it was until I was sent down the YouTube rabbit hole by the season finale of The Leftovers, which featured Nina Simone’s brilliant take on the original. (Note that the clip below containing moments of the bloody aftermath of a suicide, so trigger warning.)

That led me to seek out a complete performance of Simone’s version …Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

A new month begins, and so it’s once more time to harvest the previous month’s dreams as shared on Twitter and see whether there’s any greater sense to be made of them when they’re gathered all in one place.

Last month, guest appearances were by Hodor, Henry Kissinger, Tina Fey, Mr. Bean, and more!

September 2014

I dreamt I wandered Columbus until I came upon a comics museum — NOT the Billy Ireland — and marveled at artwork which never existed IRL. Sep 30

I dreamt I was 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey, inherited $63,000, and when I heard my brother needed money, sent him $200, and felt generous about it. Sep 30

I dreamt @IreneVartanoff and I arrived home after a trip and got into a weird argument about ukuleles, details of which I don’t remember. Sep 30

I dreamt that while I was eating at @NextRestaurant, F. Brett Cox snuck in and sat down at my table, and I was afraid he’d be tossed out. Sep 30

I dreamt I went to a Taylor Swift concert with my son and was called to the stage to dance. I apologized in advance for his embarrassment. Sep 29

I dreamt I walked off with a tureen of pate from a restaurant’s refrigerator, and only after eating it ALL did I think — why did I do that? Sep 29

I dreamt I was in the hospital with a kid Human Torch, and he used his superpowers to fuse our door shut for a reason I no longer remember. Sep 29

I dreamt I was on set as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Henry Winkler filmed a movie, creating many bloopers as props continually failed them. Sep 28

I dreamt I was attending a support group of some kind when in walked fully armored Xena. Woke before learning what her problem was, though. Sep 28

I dreamt the government wanted me to register my telepathic powers, so I told them to leave me alone, that I’d make them forget I existed. Sep 28Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

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scottedelman
02 October 2014 @ 09:58 am

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

You’d think that lunch at The Fat Duck and dinner at Dinner would be enough Heston Blumenthal for one trip to London … but you would be wrong.

Because as we headed for home, we had time for a final Heston Blumenthal meal—in Terminal 2 at Heathrow.

PerfectionistsCafeFront

I hate what you’re forced to put up with in airports. Bad Chinese food. Pizza that’s pizza in name only. BBQ that makes me cry … but in the wrong way.

So when I heard back in June that Blumenthal had opened The Perfectionists’ Café at Heathrow, with a wood-fired oven and liquid nitrogen ice cream, I knew that’s where we had to have our last meal in London.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
01 October 2014 @ 12:31 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

While pulling together the files for an upcoming paperback edition of These Words Are Haunted, which is currently only available as an extremely expensive hardcover, it occurred to me I’ve written enough stories which are in one way or another homages that I could assemble a collection of them.

Here are the stories and the related authors.

Raymond Carver: “What We Still Talk About”

Charles L. Grant: “I Wish I Knew Where I Was Going”

Edgar Allan Poe: “The Trembling Living Wire”

Saki: “A Most Extraordinary Man”

William Shakespeare: “A Plague on Both Your Houses”

John Steinbeck: “Tell Me Like You Done Before”

Thornton Wilder: “Live People Don’t Understand”

In addition to those, there’s also a Shel Silverstein-inspired piece which should be out sometime soon, and could also be included.

As I think about the concept, some questions are—

Do I include “My Life is Good,” starring Randy Newman? Should a songwriter count? I think yes, but I’m not sure whether readers would agree.

How about “Goobers,” for which the inspiration wasn’t an individual author, but EC Comics as a whole? And “Fifth Dimension,” which was a tribute to Rod Serling? (As for “Stealing Alice,” I probably wouldn’t include it, even though the Alice of the title is Alice in Wonderland, because it was written so early in my career that I have no interest in seeing it in print again.)

Separate from the content questions, there’s also—do I seek a small-press publisher for this? Or put it out on my own as an ebook?

Hmmm …

Lots to think about. If you have any thoughts, please let me know.

 
 
scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Way back in 2008, I shared with you some Scarecrow artwork which had never been seen in U.S., since it had been created specifically for Marvel’s mid-70s’ British reprint books. But it turns out there was another piece I didn’t know about. Or rather, according to the artist, I’d known about it but had forgotten.

Andrew John Standish uploaded this post to Facebook yesterday, created by penciller Howard Bender and inker Duffy Vohland.

ScarecrowPosterBenderVohland

This originally appeared in Super Spider-Man and the Titans #216 (cover-dated March 30, 1977). As to why I have no memory of this, I imagine it’s because there was no actual Scarecrow story published in that issue, only the poster, so I never received a contributor copy.

Howard was surprised I didn’t remember it, though, because he tells me that he and Duffy showed it to me before it was published.

To which I say—hey, that was 37 years ago!

Thanks for digging this up, Andrew!

 
 
scottedelman
26 September 2014 @ 02:52 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Capclave begins two weeks from today, and a preliminary draft of the program has just been released. If you can spare time from following around the three Guests of Honor—Paolo Bacigalupi, Holly Black, and Genevieve Valentine—and would rather see me pontificate, here’s where you’ll tentatively be able to find me—

The League of Substitute Heroes and the Inferior Five
Friday, October 10, 4:00 p.m.
While many people are familiar with Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man, the X-Men, and the Justice League; Marvel and DC have many other second and third tier superheroes. When DC started the Vertigo line, they had some success with reviving more obscure characters in a newer, darker, often antiheroic persona. This brought them both success (Sandman) and failure (Kid Eternity anyone?). Which more obscure and or silly DC and Marvel superheroes would you like to see revived and revamped? For instance, the Head of Programming believes it’s time for a revival of ‘mazing man, Queen’s own superhero.
with Robert Greenberger, L. Jagi Lamplighter, James Maxey, and Jay Smith

Ending Stories – Bang or Whimper?
Friday, October 10, 9:00 pm
So many short stories start out well but end abruptly or just trail off, leaving the reader to wonder, what’s the point. Why does this happen and how can writers avoid this fate? How do you determine your endings? Is a twist ending a cheat?
with Pamela K. Kinney, Dina Leacock, Alex Shvartsman, Ian Randal Strock, and Allen Wold

Why Do We Like Being Scared?
Friday, October 10, 11:00 pm
Fear probably developed as a survival mechanism. We fear things that might hurt us. Yet many read horror, go to slasher films, ride roller coasters, and climb cliffs. Why? What does this say about us and our psyches?
with Holly Black, Annette Klause, Dina Leacock, and Jon Skovron

Mass Signing
Saturday, October 11, 7:30 pm

Reading
Sunday, October 12, 1:30 pm
At which I’ll try to read my most recently sold story without crying …

Hope to see you there!

And be warned that at some point during the convention, there will be durian.

 
 
scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

If you picked up today’s Washington Post this morning and turned to the Style section, you’d have seen a familiar name—mine!

RayBradburyReview

Ron Charles, editor of the Post’s Book World, had asked me to review Ray Bradbury Unbound, the second installment in Jonathan R. Eller’s projected three-volume biography. (The first volume, Becoming Ray Bradbury, was reviewed by Michael Dirda.)

The book was not all what I expected, for it was filled with heartbreak and disappointment, and sprinkled with such phrases as “missed opportunities,” “creative dead ends,” “never materialized,” “another deeply disappointing experience,” and “marked an ultimately irreversible decline.” Perhaps a reviewer who’s not also a writer struggling to get stories written in the face of life’s endless distractions would have reacted differently.

You can read my review online at the Washington Post here. And if you do track down Eller’s book—which is certainly worth doing—please let me know how you felt about this second stage in Bradbury’s career.

 
 
scottedelman
21 September 2014 @ 03:45 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

How busy have I been for the past month? So busy I didn’t share here about my magnificent Fat Duck meal of August 13 until Friday, and I hadn’t even uploaded my Loncon3 photos to Flickr until just a short while ago.

Loncon3BadgeScottEdelman

You can check out the whole Loncon3 album here.

Don’t worry … I’ve culled out all the foodie pics and will be sharing those separately.

Now on to Spokane!

 
 
scottedelman
19 September 2014 @ 11:48 am

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I’ve often told you that I’m never quite sure these days whether the highlight of the many conventions I attend is the conventions themselves or the destination restaurants I arrange to visit at the same time. Such was the case with Loncon3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention. (Though it was only my personal 27th … and the 40th anniversary of my first, at that!)

Which means I’d arranged to visit The Fat Duck before Loncon3 was to begin. Sadly, United Airlines lost my luggage for two days, which meant that I was unable to wear my purple boating blazer as planned, and was stuck with the casual jacket and jeans I’d worn over on the flight. This caused a bit of anxiety at first, because surely one of the best restaurants in the world deserved a bit of dressing up, but a quick read of The Fat Duck FAQ calmed me down, as it reads:

We do not have a dress code policy at the restaurant – please come along however you feel comfortable.

And so, after picking up a new shirt, socks and underwear (TMI, I know) at a men’s shop near our hotel, Irene and I met David Shaw, Diane Martin, their son, and Graham Sleight at Paddington Station for a train to Maidenhead, followed by a short cab ride to the village of Bray.

BrayBeforeFatDuck

We arrived slightly early for our 1:30 lunch, and so wandered the picturesque village for a bit until we could bear to wait no longer.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
19 September 2014 @ 11:48 am

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I’ve often told you that I’m never quite sure these days whether the highlight of the many conventions I attend is the conventions themselves or the destination restaurants I arrange to visit at the same time. Such was the case with Loncon3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention. (Though it was only my personal 27th … and the 40th anniversary of my first, at that!)

Which means I’d arranged to visit The Fat Duck before Loncon3 was to begin. Sadly, United Airlines lost my luggage for two days, which meant that I was unable to wear my purple boating blazer as planned, and was stuck with the casual jacket and jeans I’d worn over on the flight. This caused a bit of anxiety at first, because surely one of the best restaurants in the world deserved a bit of dressing up, but a quick read of The Fat Duck FAQ calmed me down, as it reads:

We do not have a dress code policy at the restaurant – please come along however you feel comfortable.

And so, after picking up a new shirt, socks and underwear (TMI, I know) at a men’s shop near our hotel, Irene and I met David Shaw, Diane Martin, their son, and Graham Sleight at Paddington Station for a train to Maidenhead, followed by a short cab ride to the village of Bray.

BrayBeforeFatDuck

We arrived slightly early for our 1:30 lunch, and so wandered the picturesque village for a bit until we could bear to wait no longer.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
19 September 2014 @ 11:48 am

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I’ve often told you that I’m never quite sure these days whether the highlight of the many conventions I attend is the conventions themselves or the destination restaurants I arrange to visit at the same time. Such was the case with Loncon3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention. (Though it was only my personal 27th … and the 40th anniversary of my first, at that!)

Which means I’d arranged to visit The Fat Duck before Loncon3 was to begin. Sadly, United Airlines lost my luggage for two days, which meant that I was unable to wear my purple boating blazer as planned, and was stuck with the casual jacket and jeans I’d worn over on the flight. This caused a bit of anxiety at first, because surely one of the best restaurants in the world deserved a bit of dressing up, but a quick read of The Fat Duck FAQ calmed me down, as it reads:

We do not have a dress code policy at the restaurant – please come along however you feel comfortable.

And so, after picking up a new shirt, socks and underwear (TMI, I know) at a men’s shop near our hotel, Irene and I met David Shaw, Diane Martin, their son, and Graham Sleight at Paddington Station for a train to Maidenhead, followed by a short cab ride to the village of Bray.

BrayBeforeFatDuck

We arrived slightly early for our 1:30 lunch, and so wandered the picturesque village for a bit until we could bear to wait no longer.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
17 September 2014 @ 11:18 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Back in May, I told you about the upcoming publication of a new Spanish-language printing of editor James Lowder’s anthology The Book of All Flesh, titled El libro de los zombies. It was to contain my short story “Live People Don’t Understand,” which would appear under the title “Los vivos no lo comprenden.”

ElLibrodelosZombiesJamesLowderCover

Well, that book’s now out, and can be ordered here. (At least I think it can—my Spanish is nearly non-existent.)

If you like the story of mine that appears there, thank translators José Luis Viruete and Gustavo A. Díaz—because they’re likely more responsible for your enjoyment than I am!

 
 
scottedelman
16 September 2014 @ 02:03 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

So I was on the way home from Fort Lauderdale, where I’d spent a couple of weeks helping my mother pack and move (the details of which are a tale for another time), when I spotted a guy at the airport walking quickly by while wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the face of a mustachioed man chomping a cigar.

DitkaNotDitko

I pointed at his chest as he passed and asked, “Stan Lee?”

“No,” he said, followed by him revealing who it really was, which I heard as “Ditko.”

“Ditko?” I asked, surprised. “Steve Ditko?”

“No,” he answered, baffled by my cluelessness. “Coach Ditka.”

And thus do two fans confuse each other!

 
 
scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

While I was down in Florida last week visiting my mother, I spotted a box of Manischewitz matzoh which celebrated the creators of Superman, those two Jewish kids from Cleveland, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. My first thought was, how cool is that?

My second thought was … well … take a look at the back of the box and see whether you can guess.

ManischewitzSiegelShuster

Did you spot it?Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
24 August 2014 @ 08:39 am

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

As I was preparing to add my photos from Loncon3 to my Flickr albums, I realized I still hadn’t uploaded last month’s Readercon pics. And so …

DavidKyleReadercon

… if you’d like to see me with David Kyle, who attended the first science fiction convention in 1936, as well as 42 other photos, you can check them out here.

And just in case you’re worried—no, you won’t be forced to look at food pics!

 
 
scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

As I’ve told you before, Loncon3 was the 40th anniversary of my first Worldcon, which was Discon II. But I wasn’t alone in that—for Discon II was also the first Worldcon for F. Brett Cox.

Brett and I celebrated that anniversary with lunch at AL Masar Lebanese restaurant, after which Jeannie Beckwith commemorated the moment with a photo.

ScottEdelmanBretttCox19742014

Only a single photo exists of each of us from that 1974 gathering, and I’ve cropped them together with the most recent pic to show what four decades can do to a fan.

Where did the hair time go?

Don’t forget to check back in 2054 to see what another 40 years does to the two of us!

 
 
scottedelman
23 August 2014 @ 12:18 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I’m home from Worldcon … technically. Both my brain and body are still on London time, which means I’m tired when I should be awake and unable to sleep when I should be tired. But in this brief moment of lucidity, before I launch into a full Loncon3 report—as well as recaps of my meals at The Fat Duck and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal—I thought I’d share my personal highlight of the convention.

It occurred an hour or two into a party being thrown by the publishing company Gollancz. I was in a back room of the Aloft Hotel bar with Robert Reed, Ellen Datlow and others when I spotted the great Brian Aldiss standing by a pool table watching the action. And since I don’t get to see Aldiss often—in fact, the last time was likely during the 2000 Nebula Awards ceremony at which I was Toastmaster and he was named a Grand Master—I immediately left my group, because such opportunities are not to be missed.

ScottEdelmanBrianAldissLoncon3

I introduced myself and reminded him of when we’d last met. Joined by Rani Graff and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, we chatted for awhile, a discussion which eventually led to Aldiss reminiscing about the first London Worldcon, held in 1957. I pulled up a site filled with numerous photos from that event, which delighted him. Luckily, looking at all of those images of dead friends made him wistful rather than maudlin.

A wonderful moment … but not yet the most wonderful moment.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I’m at the London Worldcon right now. If you are too, then why not drop by the Exhibit Hall to see photographs and descriptions of my 10 favorite dishes?

ScottEdelmanFoodieExhibit

And if you’re not at Loncon3, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. You can check it all out below.

Get ready to drool …Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
11 August 2014 @ 04:08 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I was supposed to have dinner at Bryan Voltaggio’s newest restaurant, Aggio, back when it opened, but an ice storm forced me to cancel. That an ice storm was the cause will show how early in the year this was. I wanted to try again, but life was far too busy for me to make it happen, until Saturday, when I finally had that dinner … and also the crazy idea of making it at all-Voltaggio day at the same time.

AggioCharlieNewtonScottEdelman

Which meant that before the evening’s meeting of the Seersucker League—aka me and Charlie Newton—first came breakfast at Family Meal and lunch at Volt.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )